Reading: Station named the best in England

Reading station has been named as the country’s best major station after picking up a National Rail Award.

The station, which is owned and managed by Network Rail, has more than 25 million people passing through it each year and in the past 12 months it has had a series of passenger improvements helping it be crowned as the best major station.

Those improvements include a major refurbishment of the toilets which are free to use, new free water fountains, increased seating and signage plus much more.

Reading station has been transformed in the last decade as £900 million has been spent transforming it into a modern transport hub as part of the electrification of the Great Western mainline.

Dubbed ‘The New Reading Station’ it was opened by the Queen in 2014.

Although the awards usually take place in an ‘Oscar’ style event, this year’s awards ceremony was held virtually due to COVID-19.

Andy Phillips, Network Rail’s station manager for Reading station, said: “I am delighted that Reading is officially the best major station in the country.

“It feels amazing for my team to be recognised for all the hard work they’ve done at Reading station. In the last year, the station has continued to put passengers first by continuously striving to improve the customer experience, as well as Network Rail and GWR delivering the biggest timetable change in December 2019 since the 70s.

“Since COVID-19, things may have changed in the short-term, however the station has continued to deliver customer improvement projects, such as the Brunel Toilet refurbishment and the Lift Safety campaign, while a robust cleaning regime has been introduced in the station to reassure our customers that it is safe to travel by train. The station celebrated its 180th birthday in March 2020, and as part of this, a history vinyl timeline has been installed on the Transfer Deck showing the changes over the station’s 180 years.”